gms | German Medical Science

43. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie, 29. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Orthopädische Rheumatologie, 25. Wissenschaftliche Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendrheumatologie

02.-05. September 2015, Bremen

Assessment of spinal mobility in axial spondyloarthritis – first validation steps of a new electronic quantification tool

Meeting Abstract

  • David Kiefer - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne
  • Xenofon Baraliakos - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne
  • Susanne Herbold - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne
  • Jürgen Braun - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Orthopädische Rheumatologie. Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendrheumatologie. 43. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie (DGRh); 29. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Orthopädische Rheumatologie (DGORh); 25. wissenschaftliche Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendrheumatologie (GKJR). Bremen, 02.-05.09.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. DocSpA.26

doi: 10.3205/15dgrh232, urn:nbn:de:0183-15dgrh2320

Published: September 1, 2015

© 2015 Kiefer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Introduction: Spinal mobility is a major health issue of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), especially in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) while non-radiographic axSpA (nr-axSpA) has been less well studied in this regard. The available tools such as the BASMI and, indirectly, also the BASFI have limitations in exactly quantifying spinal mobility.We evaluate the performance of a newly developed electronic tool to measure spinal mobility.

Methods: Consecutive patients with axSpA, mechanical back pain and healthy controls were examined by the Epionics spine device (ESp), which measures the range of motion (ROM) for spinal mobility using non-invasive angle sensor strips in 12 evenly spaced locations along the spine. ESp measures the ROM for all domains of spinal mobility (flexion, extension, rotation and combinations). Physical examinations (BASMI), questionnaires (BASFI) and a recently proposed tool to assess function (ASPI, [1]) were performed in parallel. The assessors were unaware of the results of the other tests. Statistical comparisons between groups were performed with the Mann-Whitney-U-test.

Results: Sixty-five patients with axSpA (38 (58%) with AS and 27 (42%) with nr-axSpa), 48 patients with mechanical back pain (mBP) and 20 healthy controls (HC) were included in this prospective study. The BASFI and BASMI values were generally higher in patients with AS (4.1±2.3 and 2.7±2.3) vs. nr-axSpA (3.8±1.9 and 1.2±1.0), mBP (4.0±2.4 and 1.3±1.1) and HC (0.5±0.7 and 0.6±0.8). Using ESp, the measured range of ROM AS patients performed worse in all aspects. The mean duration of performance of ESp was 12±3 minutes.

Table 1 [Tab. 1]

Conclusion: The Epionics spine device had good construct, content and face validity in this first study, which prospectively compared patients with axSpA, mechanical back pain and healthy volunteers. It will be interesting to study its correlation to single BASMI and BASFI items and to learn whether it provides higher sensitivity to change as compared to conventional assessments of spinal mobility and function.

Disclosure: The study is supported by Epionics Medical GmbH. Epionics expenses for hardware. Support and training was funded by AbbVie in context of another study. The authors determined study design, conduct of the study and the content of the publication. No payments were made to the authors.


van Weely SF, Dekker J, Steultjens MP, van Denderen JC, Nurmohamed MT, Dijkmans BA, van der Horst-Bruinsma IE. Objective evaluation of physical functioning after tumor necrosis factor inhibitory therapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: a selection of 3 feasible performance-based tests. J Rheumatol. 2015 Apr;42(4):623-9. DOI: 10.3899/jrheum.140337 External link